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How to Find True Happiness in a Complex World: A Zen Perspective

If one seeks to enjoy pure bliss, the sole path lies in keeping one’s own modest sphere tidy, cleansing the heart of impurity, releasing obsession, being neither impulsive nor hasty, viewing the world with candid spirit, living life with joy, and an ordinary heart cultivates affection, removes obstacles with tenderheartedness, and lives each day in calm and tranquility.

Let us return to simplest, original intentions, sit in emptiest places, and allow the din of the world to sound for itself! Permit the lakes and mountains to flaunt themselves! Permit the crowds to withdraw from afar or pass by in the distance!

We aspire only to maintain a lucid heart, observe the world with candid spirit, experience life with gladness, foster affection through a normal heart, and vanquish hindrances with tenderheartedness.

We ought walk lightly and live with heart; we ought breathe softly and tend gently; we ought ponder profoundly and hold immense compassion: we ought treasure a blade of grass and tread upon the ground leery of inflicting pain. These are all practices.

Whenever transformation arises, perplexed gazes will inevitably surface, and sometimes even cold brows. But I feel gratitude for both fair and foul times, allowing me to endure the world with tenderheartedness. A tender heart proves the most potent force.

I have ever been reluctant to don expensive garments or possess famed brands, because I profoundly sense that I am not of such high worth; I have ever disliked venturing forth in suits and shoes, because I profoundly sense that I am not so exquisite. I wish to be humble and modest as a weed on the mountain, living freely upon the earth, yet also possess noble self-esteem, looking down upon this mortal world. I want not for all to behold me, but I desire my own dignity.

We inhabit this world wherein exist myriads of lives. Particularly in this intricate and chaotic modern age, becoming ever more difficult it proves to return to simplicity. Far too numerous are the things that must be released, far too many worldly matters that must be abandoned, and far too numerous emotions that must be severed from affection…Return we to the most basic, original heart, sit comfortably in emptiest places and allow the tumult of the world proceed of its own volition! Permit the lakes and mountains to flaunt themselves! Permit the crowds to withdraw from afar or pass by in the distance!

On joyous days, the breeze stirs yet leaves sound not; on dreary days, behave romantically though romance feel not. In times of distress, douse the fire within your heart and cool yourself. In ordinary days exist flowers, moons and towers. Life progresses merely moving forward in this manner – you need not enlighten others, merely keep alight a lamp of gladness in remotest place within your heart at all times…

Oft do I ponder that in this immense world, all ought possess their own modest sphere. This small world represents a place where you can ponder, wander, delight, grieve, and even repent entirely free of disturbance. Thus does remaining an autonomous being find meaning. For the modest thousand worlds, when winds and rains shroud and cockerels crow endlessly in the great thousand world, with lucid mind we can observe;

When one confronts the outside world, a window is what one requires; when one confronts oneself, a mirror is what one requires. Solely through windows can we perceive the radiance of the world, and solely through mirrors view our own blemishes. In truth, windows or mirrors signify not – what proves important is your heart; if your heart expands vast, knowledge will expand vast; if your heart glows bright, the world will glow bright.

The joy and sorrow, gladness and lament of life’s journey are but words penned upon water, assuredly flowing away with time. Only through comprehending oneself, returning to oneself, reflecting upon oneself, and mastering oneself can the lotus flower of wisdom unfurl. So long as we acknowledge the words fade as water, we can languish not, fear not, and distance ourselves from topsy-turvy dreams.

The Zen mind in fact informs us that we must see clearly all joys of the world, and we ought endure life’s hardships, because in ultimate state, joy is but the smile reflected in the mirror, and suffering the shadow of a bird fleetingly crossing the water.

When our mind serenizes, troubles seem noisy, like the mud in our lives, yet also are we awaiting – maybe from some ignorant and unnamed nook a lotus flower of pure wisdom will bloom!

In my view, the heart serves as the starting point of all tenderness. Solely when our hearts soften can we sever past worries and future fears, and solely by severing past worries and future fears can we acquire genuine freedom.

The occasional gladness, enlightenment, and spiritual illumination in life are like doves and sparrows suddenly arriving at our window. When they wing away, I need merely maintain that kind of joy.

Love’s beginning is a wink, and love’s end the boundless sky. We have passed through numerous springs, summers, autumns and winters, and undergone much change. Still able maintain a simple, original intention, ever yearning for life’s beauty. In life’s deepest recesses, I persistently believe the most lovely state is that of bliss.

Joy exists in every sunbeam, and in each niche. When seeing the world’s turning, raising my head, and beholding a delicate and pure white cloud wandering slowly in a tender and elegant manner, then knew that having the ability to live with a pure and joyous heart represents true happiness.

Taking an evening stroll, collecting fallen pinecones, missing friends afar, recalling diverse lovely experiences in life – this ordinary life holds its unique lucidity, profundity and greatness!

The most exquisite things in this world prove difficult to describe and express in words. Let us maintain, then, a prudent silence! In crowds, observe and hearken; in solitude, be perceptive.

When the whole world makes merry and all feel gladness, we can observe ourselves with detachment; when setbacks assail the external world, we can return to this spiritual castle, where comfort may be found; setting forth from here.

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